Well, the Falcons have incurred their first loss in a while. It’s against a quality team in their stadium with a uniquely strong home field advantage and off a bye. Ordinarily, it’s the kind of loss you just shrug off and move on from. But this is different. I’ll explain why it’s different soon enough. First the recap.
The first half was a disaster. After four great games in a row from our offensive line, it collapsed in the first half, allowing Matt Ryan to be sacked three times and generally get battered. Defense played well. Yeah, it allowed 17 points in two quarters, but one of the touchdowns was due to a strip sack.
Things changed in the second half. Whatever the problem with the offensive line was we fixed it. Matt Ryan had the time he needed and Julio Jones had a career day against the Legion of Boom after all. 17-17 quickly became 24-17 with a quarter to go.
Seattle rallied back, taking the lead with a field goal and touchdown (extra point blocked). It came down to one drive. Julio Jones was targeted down the field, but Richard Sherman seized him by the arm, obvious pass interference. I think some late hits on Ryan were let go as well.
Yeah, our offense line shouldn’t have taken so long to gel, but is a burglar going to walk because the door was unlocked? Would anyone be OK with it if it were to happen? I should add that the past actions of most Seahawks fans leave me skeptical of any insistence of theirs that I get over it. These are the people who are still upset about Super Bowl 40 a decade ago, a point they made when their team played the Steelers last season. Not to mention how many of them think Tom Brady cheated them out of a Super Bowl even though the Patriots’ receivers became much more drop-happy the season after they got caught (which happened before that Super Bowl).
But it’s not all negative. This was a great performance against a good team, a loud crowd, and yes, the referees. We’re in good shape. We don’t have to play a defense like this for the rest of the season (the last two weeks suggest that the Eagles are off that list). Best case scenario, we’ve demonstrated an ability to hang with playoff teams and can possibly possibly make a deep run ourselves. Worst case scenario, it looks more and more like even 8-8 wins this division. RISE UP!!!